By John P. LeDonne
This can be the 1st accomplished exam of the Russian ruling elite and its political associations in the course of a big interval of country development, from the emergence of Russia at the degree of global politics round 1700 to the consolidation of its place after the victory over Napoleon. rather than concentrating on the good rulers of the period--Peter, Catherine, and Alexander--the paintings examines the the Aristocracy which on my own can make their energy powerful. LeDonne not just offers a whole chronological account of the advance of bureaucratic, army, financial, and political associations in Russia in this interval, but additionally skillfully analyzes the ways that neighborhood businesses and the ruling type exercised regulate and shared strength with absolutely the monarchs.
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Additional info for Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825
Such was the case of a Saratov merchant who applied to the civil chamber and was hired as a clerk with his son. The son was promoted to the upper ranks of the secretarial staff (after The Structure of Russian Society \5 1785, everyone in grades fourteen to nine became life nobles) but did not break the barrier to hereditary status. Gavril Dobrynin was more fortunate. Born in Sevsk near the Ukrainian border, the son of a priest, he became the secretary of the local bishop, then left to try his luck in Bielorussia as others, under Alexander, would try theirs in Georgia: an entire cemetery in Tiflis was apparently reserved for those who did not make it to college assessor.
47 Whatever differences existed among high and low members of the ruling class, a consensus bound them in that belief among themselves and collectively with the Romanov house for more than two centuries. The inviolability of serfdom precluded the growth of divergent interests and kept tsar and ruling elite the inseparable constituents of a ruling class whose grip on the political life of the country was unchallengeable. The politics of the ruling class was the politics of patronage, and the search for dominance, incarnated in the rise of favorites, implied the glorification of the principle of autocracy, as every ambitious politician, unable to find a power base in society outside the ruling class, took refuge behind the unlimited power of the autocrat to consolidate his position.
60 This prestige was not an artificial creation and often reflected an experience and knowledge of the world that civilian duty in the monotonous interior of Russia could never match. General Alexander Rumiantsev (1680-1749) fought in Finland, on the Prut, and in Pomerania, traveled to Constantinople, Vienna, Amsterdam, and Paris, served in the Ukraine and in Transcaucasia. The memoirs of Andrei Bolotov (1738-1833) vividly describe the discovery by a boy The Structure of Russian Society 19 from Tula of the strange and fascinating world of Riga and Kdnigsberg, his visit to the then-small Winter Palace where he thought he was in paradise, and his happiness at wearing his first corporal uniform at the age of 10.
Absolutism and Ruling Class: The Formation of the Russian Political Order, 1700-1825 by John P. LeDonne